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Paperback The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel: The Art of Cultivating Preferred Customer Status Book

ISBN: 193236157X

ISBN13: 9781932361575

The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel: The Art of Cultivating Preferred Customer Status

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This new edition of The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel provides readers with the secrets and wisdom necessary to travel first class on a tight budget. Engaging and entertaining true-life travel anecdotes demonstrate how the luxury travel experience is not impossible for most travelers, while, in down-to-earth, accessible language, the author tells travelers exactly what to do and not to do to travel in style. "Quick Tips" reinforce the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Straight forward no-holds-barred travel book

Actually, contrary to preceding review I have read on this site, this book is one of the most straight forward, no-holds-barred travel books that doesn't spend an unnecessary amount of time telling you how difficult it is to travel. Rather the author tells you how to bring the joy back to travel. The author also isn't afraid to say stuff that could get him in trouble with the rest of the travel industry. Like on page 260; where he states that "third party websites do not offer a competitive advantage." "On page 24; he says "travel providers work hard to maintain the loyalty of their valued customers," something entirely dissimilar to most travel writers. It's a fast-moving book, with anecdote to support the facts and opinions. He also offers a comprehensive index and notes on many worthwhile websites. Each page is likely to offer something useful. What I like most about the book is that you get the feeling that he actually has tried all the things he's writing about, as the book has a rarified air of authority. The book is conversational, opinionated, but no one can argue that this author doesn't know his stuff. The author's travels encompassing million of miles he claims to have travel shows when he instruct you how to deal with a variety of situations. For example, on page 33 he provides "A three-step approach to becoming the right customer." I don't know any other book that has all these details in one place. I also have Peter Greenberg's and Scott McCartney's books, which I thought were both limited in offering actionable tips. FYI--in reference to past posts--This review is written by someone who doesn't know the author.

This Passport has a Valid Visa

I think Joel Widzer hit another home-run with the third edition of his Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel. When he shares his tips on flying First Class at Coach prices, and getting luxury class hotel accommodations for a pittance, I sense right away the author speaks with authority and from experience; he seems to have distilled his decades-long serious globe-trotting, like fine wine, into a practical travel guide that the reader can tote along with ease. Seasoned business travelers as well as novice leisure travelers will find nuggets of useful information that they might otherwise have overlooked, that they can immediately use the very next time they need to book a trip. Joel offers ten principles of his Contrarian Travel Strategy (p.69), including being loyal to one's travel provider (be "the right customer to one airline", p.132), and acquiring a "minimum elite-level frequent-flyer" status with one airline (p.133). Having traveled extensively around the world for both business and pleasure, e.g. First Class on PanAm among others, and having stayed regularly at top-notch hotels like the Hotel Conrad in HongKong, I know that Joel's travel tips are a quick and worthwhile read. I like best his section on Resources and References, since it is a "portal" to all the other travel experts that Joel frequents. Reading Joel's compact book, I feel like I have my best friend traveling with me, always vigilant that the experience is classy no matter the travel budget. My best friend just happens to be a globe-trotter who travels in the lap of luxury year in year out, so he is a guy who practices what he preaches. The only thing this book is lacking is information from Joel's little black book, in which he keeps the names, phone numbers, and emails of all the contacts at his favorite airlines and hotels around the world. My hope is that Joel will include that information in his fourth edition.

A book that helped me to travel in the style to which I would like to be accustomed

You might find this note from a reader helpful: Thank you. I read your book about almost two years ago, but I didn't believe that I could really travel in luxury on the cheap. Well your book helped me. I have been travelling for years and I always though frequent flyer programs were just gimmicks. After reading your book I signed up for the frequent flyer program of the airline I always fly-American and I can't believe it!!!! A year later I was flying first class without even paying for the full fare coach ticket. I have never been a big fan of self-service so when American got those new kiosks in front of their ticket counters, I was a little irritated. Then one day I was in a hurry and I used the dreaded thing. I was offered an upgrade to first class for a hundred dollars! Of course, I jumped at the deal. Since I could not afford the full fare coach ticket to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There was a net saver special for Milwaukee round-trip for $178. I was offered the upgrade on both segments so I paid $378 for a first-class trip to Milwaukee. That's a few hundred less than full-fare coach and several hundred less than a first-class ticket if I purchased it out right. In the year that I have been travelling first class through this method, I have only not been offered an upgrade one time. I arrived at the airport late. As for hotels, I'm being offered suites for the price of regular rooms and I haven't earned my gold status yet. It's great and I have you to thank. Subrina McDowell

1st Class With 5 Star Service

I enjoyed this book because it is the only book that I could find that taught me legitimate ways of improving my travel experience without additional cost. I love to travel but dislike the hassles, so here's a book to solve that problem. I also like his web column,; good advice here.

The Zen of Traveling Graciously

This book quite simply changed how I travel, from how I talk to ticket agents on the phone to how I talk to the bellhop, to my attitude about crisis on the road. It's a book about how to behave and how to communicate and how to be happy on the road as much as it is about getting first class service and amenities.
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